3 reasons why the Angels ended the first half under .500

Things have taken an ugly turn for the Los Angeles Angels as they fall under .500 at the midway point
Jul 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Matt Thaiss (21) talks to
Jul 8, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Matt Thaiss (21) talks to / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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Los Angeles Angels fans have to feel somewhat relieved that the first half of the season is officially over. The Angels have now lost five in a row and nine of their last ten to end the first half with a 45-46 record. Yes, this team that was as many as eight games over .500 as recently as June 18th, is now under .500 and in free-fall mode.

The Angels were swept in their short two-game series against the Dodgers. They've now lost against the Dodgers in each of their last ten meetings and got outscored 25-9 in the four games played this season. They are just 2-11 against the NL West this season with a series coming in the second half against the Giants.

The Angels are now 7.5 games back of the first-place Rangers in the AL West, and are 4.5 games back of the third Wild Card spot in the AL. They're not officially out of it, but their lives just became a lot harder in the last week and a half.

Virtually everyone is to blame from Arte Moreno all the way down to the worst player on the roster. It's easy to pinpoint some reasons why this team that looked competitive in June now looks like selling is the only real option.

1) Injuries have decimated the LA Angels

It's not fair to use injuries as the lone excuse, but to say injuries haven't played a role would be ignorant. This team might not have made the playoffs if they were fully healthy, but they hadn't showed any signs of a collapse like this.

The Angels hadn't been under .500 since April 24th. They had been under .500 a grand total of five times prior to their loss last night. They've lost nine of ten and 13 of their last 18. These losses have come following injuries to some key players.

The Injured List includes Mike Trout, Logan O'Hoppe, Zach Neto, Brandon Drury, Gio Urshela, and Max Stassi. The Angels have been without Stassi all season and without O'Hoppe for most of it, but the others were key contributors. Anthony Rendon has missed each of the last three games and could easily join them. Jo Adell left with an oblique injury and can also potentially be IL-bound.

Since their 25-run outburst in Colorado, the Angels have scored more than five runs just once. Having lineups that aren't close to normal can be cited as a reason why.

Even looking at the pitchers, Matt Moore was a key contributor in the bullpen before landing on the IL. Ben Joyce looked dominant in most of his appearances before going on the IL. Even Jose Quijada had some good moments before undergoing Tommy John Surgery.

Some of these guys have been out for a while, but Urshela, Neto, Trout, and Drury all landed on the IL within the last month. That's four major contributors gone from a lineup that clearly needs them. And that's not even including Rendon and Trout's replacement Adell. If Rendon does go onto the IL, it'll be his fourth stint already.

Injuries aren't the only excuse, but they're impossible to ignore.